CA: ‘It’s messy’: Caltrain says trespasser caused hectic early morning delays

Dec. 1, 2023
A man was taken into custody Thursday morning after he climbed a Caltrain electrical pole at the San Francisco station and sat amongst the wiring for several hours, according to the commuter rail line.

SAN FRANCISCO — A man was taken into custody Thursday morning after he climbed a Caltrain electrical pole at the San Francisco station and sat amongst the wiring for several hours, according to the commuter rail line.

The chaotic situation, which began around 3:30 a.m. according to Caltrain, was first publicly acknowledged at 6:03 a.m. when the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management told commuters in a social media post to expect delays as police activity was barring trains from entering the station at 4th and King Streets, which is the final northbound stop on the line. The situation caused residual delays of more than 20 minutes throughout the train line.

Commuters took to social media to complain to Caltrain for the frantic morning. When a social media user asked Caltrain whether trains were still arriving at the 22nd Street station, Caltrain let it be known that the situation was convoluted.

“It’s messy. Apologies,” the commuter rail said on X, formerly known as Twitter, at 7:28 a.m.

It was later revealed by Caltrain spokesperson Dan Lieberman that the delays were as a result of a man climbing a train, and then an electrical pole, before sitting among the wiring.

“We are working with local authorities regarding the individual that climbed a train and electrical pole on Caltrain property,” Lieberman said in a statement. “Our primary concern is always the safety of the individual, the public, and our employees. We are working closely with local authorities to resolve the situation safely.”

While the man was atop the pole, which was not electrified at the time, SamTrans provided a bus bridge between the 22nd Street station and 4th and King.

At 9:13 a.m., the rail line confirmed that the man was safely taken into custody by police and equipment was being cleared for regular use. While full service resumed by 9:40, officials warned commuters that residual delays should be expected.

“We thank local authorities for their assistance with this incident,” Lieberman said. “We appreciate our passengers’ patience throughout this incident.”

The hectic morning for transit-users came just hours after a similar situation unfolded for BART a few miles from the San Francisco Caltrain station. Starting just before 5 p.m., the transbay tube that connects San Francisco and Oakland was shut down for about 1½ hours because of a person walking on the tracks.

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